K.M. Hutchinson (1867)
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By The Numbers
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Final Voyage


The K.M. Hutchiinson, light from Fremont, caught fire in the forward cabin the early morning of 8/31/1895. She was then just off Lone Willow bar, midway of the narrows between Lakes Winneconne and Poygan, some 4 miles above Winneconne. The crew escaped into the life boat, while the steamer burned to the water's edge. She cost some $10,000, but her insurance was small. The newspaper did not know whether her machinery was salvageable.
Service History


The K.M. Hutchinson was originally a two masted schooner built at Norwegian Bay, Wisconsin by Andrew Johnson in 1867. The K.M. Hutchinson was named for its original owner, an Oshkosh hardware dealer. The registry number was 14475. Captain E.P. Bangs purchased the vessel and converted it to a steamer and ran it on the Fox River between Oshkosh and Green Bay. The vessel was then sold to Joe Smick who ran it on the Wolf River.

"Perhaps the strangest vessel that ever plied the Fox and Wolf Rivers was the K.M. Hutchinson. Originally she was a two masted schooner on Lake Winnebago. Captain Banks bought it, installed an 80 degree steam engine to drive a propeller, and ran it in the wood hauling trade. Because of its unsuitable hull design it would roll badly when caught in the wash of other boats. Captain Banks finally cut her in two, added 20 feet in the middle, and turned her into a stern-wheeler. Mr. Doman built and installed this machinery. Later Captain Bangs sold the Hutchinson to Joe Smick, who ran it on the Wolf. It finally burned between Lake Poygan and Lake Winneconne." The Trail Of The Serpent; The Fox River valley Lore and Legend.
© 2017 - Wisconsin Sea Grant, Wisconsin Historical Society